New Delhi: Terming the alleged banking fraud to the tune of Rs 1100 crore as "colossal", the Supreme Court on Monday rejected the bail plea of one of the key accused and trashed his plea that he be given the relief as 19 other accused have already been granted bail in the case.
"It is a colossal scam and you (Jigarbhai Amrutlal Thakkar) are the main accused," a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Arun Mishra said while rejecting his bail plea.
The counsel for Thakkar, who is in jail since July 26, 2012, said that 19 co-accused have already been granted bail and moreover, the trial has not commenced in the case as yet.
Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for CBI, said it is true that other co-accused have been granted bail.
"Are you conceding?," the bench asked.
"No. As a matter of fact, it is true that other accused have been granted bail. So far as his role is concerned, it is grave," the AG said.
Thakkar said he has been implicated and the allegation against him was that he introduced customers for opening bank accounts which were later allegedly found to be fictitious.
The bench then rejected Thakkar's plea and asked the trial court to expedite the hearing in the case.
"If required, the trial court may consider his bail plea on merits after framing of charges in the case," it said.
Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had refused to interfere with the trial court's decision to reject the bail plea of Thakkar against whom and others, the CBI had registered an FIR under the IPC relating to offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and using forged documents as genuine.
The trial court, in its order, had said that Thakkar was a habitual offender and had defrauded several banks such as Bank of Maharashtra, Corporation Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce and was also involved in defrauding others banks also to the tune of Rs 1100 crores.
"The accused may scuttle the investigation, if released on bail and, looking to the magnitude of the amount of fraud and the gravity of crime, the present bail application filed by the applicant deserves to be rejected outrightly," it had said.